If you're interested in boosting your presence within Amazon's online stores beyond your home turf, whether to sell more of your books in their original language, or to attract foreign rights buyers interested in translating your work into their local tongue, make sure you take advantage of its Amazon Author Central service in every possible territory. ALLi Author Advice Center Manager Debbie Young offers a lightening tour of the options and implications.
What is Author Central?
Author Central is a group of Amazon-owned websites on which authors may create a personalised profile for each territory served by the retail giant. The information input to these databases populates your author pages on Amazon store sites around the world.
There is a different Author Central site for each Amazon territory.
For each territory? Yes, that's right. It's a common assumption that if you upload your bio, photo and other data to your local Author Central e.g www.authorcentral.com for the US or https://authorcentral.amazon.co.uk for the UK store, that it will be replicated in every other Amazon store site. Not so.
A Different Author Central Site Per Territory
Remember how when you upload your books to KDP you have to check which territory you want to publish in and pick your prices in each currency?
It's a similar set-up with Author Central. There are a number of store sites, and you have to replicate your data on each one. You can input country-specific different info into each site, or copy and paste the same over and over again – it's up to you.
- The good news is that you can use the same log-in and password at each site, so you don't need to set up umpteen separate accounts.
- The bad news is that every time you want to make an update, you'll have to go into each site and change it individually.
- And the not-quite-so-bad news is that although each site is, reasonably enough, presented in its own language, there is a handy translation button. The layout of each site is pretty much the same in each territory, so you could even get by without using the translation facility, provided your familiar with the site in your own language.
Variation by Country
Having said that, the contents of the Author Central page is slightly different in some territories. On the US site, for example, but not yet other sites, if you add a feed, your latest blog posts will be uploaded automatically. You can also post alerts to your coming events:
And this is what the blog posts look like on my Amazon.com profile as a result of adding my feed:
(I don't bother putting in events details because I'm in the UK, and I haven't yet done a US event – though I'm always open to offers!)
Choice of Language for Each Country Profile
- If you are selling your books only in English, set up your bio and book information in English.
- If you are selling your book in other languages, e.g. in German, then on the German site you should set up your bio and book information in German.
Is It Worth It?
It takes time and effort to set up an effective profile in your own language on your home territory site, so is it really worth replicating it on Amazon sites around the world? Remember, the number of available Amazon territory sites is growing, so this task is likely to become more time-consuming as Amazon's reach spreads. And it's scary how quickly an author bio can get out of date, so once you've set up an Author Central page on any particular territory, you really ought to revisit and update it at least every time you publish a new book.
There are three key reasons to do so:
- a reader often clicks on an author's name if undecided as to whether to buy a book they've found on the site, and a good author profile could clinch the deal
- if a reader has enjoyed one book by an author, they may click the author name to find out what else they're written, and the Author Central service is the quickest way for them to discover the author's full catalogue
- if a foreign rights buyer is browsing to find suitable English language books to translate into that Amazon's store's local language, your bio may draw them in to consider yours
Ultimately, of course, as with everything in indie publishing, the decision is yours. Your time may be better spent optimizing your own author website, following ALLi Director Orna Ross's advice to never spend more time on someone else's website than you do on your own!
OVER TO YOU If you have any tips to add to Debbie's overview, please post a comment – and if you found this post helpful, please share with your author friends.#Indieauthors - are you making the most of Amazon's Author Central facilities worldwide? Read @DebbieYoungBN's quick guide to make sure you're not missing any tricks! Click To Tweet
OTHER POSTS TO HELP YOU OPTIMIZE YOUR AUTHOR CENTRAL PROFILE
From the ALLi Author Advice Center Archive